Business

Fostering a family-friendly workplace

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TA week before B.C.'s first Family Day statutory holiday (Feb. 11), the second Business and Families First Dialogue, hosted in partnership with the Burnaby Board of Trade and the Surrey Board of Trade, will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Last year the Surrey Board of Trade issued their Business and Families Position Paper and now the Burnaby Board of Trade, representing over 1,000 business members, is joining them on this economic call.

The dialogue event will examine three policy recommendations to reduce the squeeze on the generation raising young children – a squeeze that costs families and costs businesses. Discussion will be on how to further these economic calls. Highlights will show how Surrey’s business community promotes family-friendly workplaces and how Surrey business supports work-life balance to gain a competitive advantage.

Discussion will also touch on how Canada is the only developed nation in the world without a child care policy.

The Surrey Board of Trade’s recommendations announced in 2012  – with the Burnaby Board of Trade now joining the call – are:

1. $10/day Child Care: Today child care often costs around $40/day, which is more than university tuition, and makes young families pay the equivalent of another mortgage on top of housing costs that are already twice the price of 1976.  A generation ago, the majority of families didn’t incur child care costs because it was more affordable for a parent to stay home until kids started school, and there was less concern about gender inequality.

2. Flexible and Family-Friendly Workplaces: A generation ago it was common for families to get by with one parent working 40 hours a week. Today, it is far more common for families to need closer to 80 hours. Tax incentives are needed to support employers to develop family-friendly workplaces that include features such as Family Responsibility Leave, a culture that supports work-life balance, alternative work arrangements, and recognition of child and elder care issues.

3. Parental Leave: Conduct additional research to explore how parents may split 18 months at home with a newborn, and access healthy child check-ins and parenting supports while on leave. Today, many families today can’t afford to split 12 months, whereas parents commonly stayed home six years a generation ago.

The Business and Families First Dialogue takes placeTuesday, Feb. 5 at Eaglequest Golf Course, 7778 152 St.

Registration and breakfast is at 7:30 a.m. and the program runs from 8-10 a.m.

Admission is free

 

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